The meeting was held at Honolulu Community College Marine Training Center, and had 35 attendees.
National Weather Service Marine Users Conference Update
Mr. Andy Nash gave a short overview on NOAA Weather Service and followed up on the situation that HOST had brought to their attention regarding getting weather information during a major weather incident. The Weather Service would like to know what more they can do to help us. We will be asking them to give a more through presentation at our next membership meeting in June.
Safety At Sea
Ocean Sailors: Robin introduced the issue that Rick Shema had brought to the HOST Advisory Board on safety at sea for those transiting the Pacific through Hawaii. A sub committee has been formed and the Chair is Susan Harper. This committee will develop an education program to help ocean sailors be safer at sea. They will identify resources available, how do we get access to those resources and also include experienced sailors in the committee. Susan will check next week with those interested on a meeting day and time. Anyone interested in participating on the subcommittee is encouraged to call Susan Harper at 864-3515.
HOST Public Service Commendation
On March 20, Captain Hank Howlett and crewman Clayton Espanto were fishing on their 23’ fishing boat “Margo” off Punaluu when they heard a radio call for help on VHF channel 16. The call was too soft to be heard by the Coast Guard so the men turned around in the very rough seas and traced their path back to where 10 people were stranded outside the reef in kayaks. The people were tired and in need of help. At the risk of their own life and property, the captain and crew rescued the individuals and took them to safety at Heeia-Kea Pier. HOST recognized their heroic efforts and presented the two with citations for their efforts, which undoubtedly saved lives. The Capt. thanked the Coast Guard and the City Fire Dept. for their efforts and emphatically urged all boaters to carry and monitor VHF channel 16. He said that there are 10 kayakers that are happy he did that day.
USCG Presentation on Maritime Transportation Security Act
Security Zone Update: Lt. Patty Kutch notified the HOST membership that a notice of rule making has been submitted and should be published in the Federal Register soon to modify existing Hawaii security zones. The changes proposed are substantial. There will be a public comment period of 60 days and comments will need to be in writing. When the notice comes out in the Federal Register, HOST will call a special meeting to help facilitate public access.
In response to a question, enforcement and penalties will be on a case-by-case basis.
Harbor Security: Lt. Doug Crabbe discussed domestic vessel security. The number of domestic vessels is expected to double in the next 20 years. There are 361 public ports in the US and they are open and exposed.
Vessel operators should have already submitted their security plans. The security plan details the vulnerability of the vessel and what the operator is doing about it.
Colors vs. MARSEC: Level 1=All the colors are represented except orange and red; Level 2=Orange; Level 3=Red.
The Security level dictates how the vessel security plan is to be implemented. The deadline for implementation of the plans is July 1, 2004. Our domestic vessels are responsive to the effort. There is a MTSA help desk and web site for updates on plans.
Gary Brown: Discussed the port security plans. There are 3,500 domestic facilities and almost everyone has turned in a plan. The cost is $1.5 billion initially with a total of $7.0 billion over 10 years. An engineering firm in Kansas is reviewing the plans. Ten plans have been approved so far.
The industry worked with the Coast Guard to develop the Area Maritime Security Plan, required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act. Discussion followed on the Central Pacific Area Maritime Security Committee. The key points are that the Captain of the Port has the authority to have Area Maritime Security (AMS) committees. The Executive Committee serves as the governing board and there are standing committees such as crisis management, port navigation, risk assessment, exercise plans, plan development and review.
The current Executive Committee has Capt. Skuby as Chair, Brad Rimell as Vice Chair and Robin Bond as an At Large Member, among others. The current status is that the EC has appointed the initial general membership individuals and they will prioritize the organization of three of the standing committees.
There needs to be a subcommittee established for American Samoa. They are looking for port security grants. Contact for the standing committees is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on the SOP’s: Three HOST SOPs are being updated; Commercial VHF, Explosive Handling, and Foreign Crew Billeting.
6th Annual Harbor Safety Conference Report:
Robin Bond gave s short presentation on the 6th Annual Harbor Safety Conference highlights.
- The Harbor Safety Committee (HSC) Chairs Meeting: There is a continued shift to security as well as safety. The national website’s future is uncertain; Robin is working with the developer of the website. There is a need for $3 million and the Committee may ask the Coast Guard for assistance. Next year’s conference is in Los Angles/Long Beach and Robin is on the Committee to develop the agenda.
- Recreational and Commercial Interests: There is a “Steer Clear” pamphlet that has been developed to help educate recreational boaters on how their actions affect large commercial vessels. There needs to be more involvement of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Harbor pilots are providing rides of access to arriving ships. There were no questions of concerns regarding establishment of USCG Security Zones. There was a suggestion of linking boater violations to State drivers licenses.
- Awareness on Terrorism: The Harbor Safety/Security Committees provide a forum for educating the public. There is a VHS tape “On Guard” available to educate the public and we can show it next meeting.
- Harbor Safety/Security Committees Role on Harbor Safety and Security: The Committees provide balance, consistency and cooperation. The Committees represent all the maritime related groups. Training and education of all is very important. The other Harbor Safety Committees assisted and or proposed the scope of the proposed Security Zones.
- The Federal Role in Maritime Transportation: NOAA covers navigation, surveys and weather. There is the “Coast Pilot” on the web and although not in Hawaii, the “Shipmate” hand-held units are being used is some ports.
- HSC Organization and Management: Harbor Safety/Security Committees are funded in many ways some have state funding, others have membership dues and some like HOST have as needs arise industry assistance. Committees have a heavy reliance on sub-committees to accomplish their work. It was decided that more visibility in the media is needed in Hawaii.
- RADM Thomas Gilmour, Assistant Commandant: His discussion focused on the HSC, which provides safety, security and protection of the environment. He also explained that the HSC provides the Capt. of the port (COTP) a vehicle to work with the maritime community. HSC facilitates interaction and partnership between industry, governments and the US Coast Guard.
- Vice Admiral Thad Allen, Chief of Staff: His discussion focused on the highest priority is safety, security and awareness through: Leadership to see more, further and sooner; innovation through ship tracking, US Coast Guard reorganization and new technology; and cooperation through partnerships, net working and education.
Call To Order: With no further new business Robin Bond adjourned the meeting.